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£4.3bn of Covid Help Written Off Due to Fraud

Written by Robert Moore Marketing Manager 17 January 2022

The Treasury has admitted that over £4.3bn of Covid help is likely to be written off due to fraud.   This is not surprising in that the money was rolled out very quickly to avoid a massive hit to the economy but without many checks and balances.  Consequently, there were a considerable number of fraudsters who set up companies, faked documents and blatantly lied on applications to receive the money.  Fraud is particularly difficult to prosecute as the perpertrators are adept at covering their tracks. In many cases one fraudster could be making hundreds of false claims.  It is likely that the actually number of fraudsters will be quite low as it isn't worth the risk for just one bounceback loan.  Financial crime such as fraud, scams, hacking and corporate theft has grown considerably in the last few years.

We are hearing from people who made over optimistic projections of turnover but not sure if that could be counted as fraud but in many cases there is no money left.  It is worth remembering that just because there is no money left will not stop criminals being pursued by the authorities.  The real issue will be how many of these frauds will have been done by people in the UK.  It is quite possible that as all you had to do was to apply online that it could be done from abroad.

In the end the Covid schemes were bound to have some "leakage" but don't make the perfect be the enemy of the good!

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